This past Thursday while I was out riding, I passed what I thought was a new restaurant, Emory’s. It sits right on Silver Lake, a small 20 acre or so lake just north of where we live. We’ve been looking for new places to try out, so plans were made to head there on Sat. From the street it looks like a sports bar, so we figured we go early, nosh on some bar food and enjoy cocktails while watching the game. Man were we in for a surprise.
We arrived around 4:30 and got seated on the patio with a nice view of the lake. Sun was beating down, with a nice breeze. Perfect for outdoor dining fun. We were sitting there for maybe 10 minutes without any servers coming over. Didn’t really bother us, we were enjoying the day. A gentleman came over, who introduced himself as one of the owners, and asked if we had been helped. When we said no, he took our drink orders and went inside. Our drinks soon appeared, a nice Shiraz for Beth and something called an “Extreme Gin & Tonic,” which turned out to be a gin and tonic with a heap of lemonade slush on top. Very tasty and refreshing. Still looking over the extensive menu, we ordered some Penn Cove oysters, and Thai lettuce wraps. Beth, who is turning into quite the oyster aficionado, gave two big thumbs up. My lettuce wraps were delightful as well, with crisp iceberg lettuce leaves and an aromatic, but not overly spicy filling of grilled chicken pieces, rice noodles and veggies. So far, so good, and way beyond what we were expecting.
Finally we made our choices for dinner. Beth opting for blackened red snapper with rice, while I went for rack of lamb, medium rare. While we waiting on our entrees, the owner came back over to see how things were going. We found out that this was not a new place at all, in fact, it has been in the same location for 15 years. He went on to say that it’s only in the last couple of years that they found the right mix of chef and support staff. Good things come to those who wait was never more true.
The main course arrived and we both dug in. Beth said the snapper was one of the best she’s ever had, and the rice was cooked perfectly. I tried a bite of the snapper, and was duly impressed. A lot of times restaurants equate blackened with burnt salt. Not here, the spice was pronounced, but not in your face. As my Uncle would say, it was a nice piece of fish. My lamb arrived cooked to perfection. Medium rare as asked, and warm. The sauce was a nice demi-glaze. Not as flavorful as at The Barrel House, but it didn’t need to be. The lamb itself was so moist, so tasty that it really didn’t even need a sauce at all. Ditto for the mound of smashed potatoes the dish came with. No packaged frozen bulk pre-mashed potatoes here baby. No sir. These tasted like perfectly done baked potatoes mashed with cream. Yummy. And both dishes came with what is without a doubt the best asparagus either of us has ever had from a restaurant. Bright green, snappy crisp and thin spears of total asparagus ambrosia. I’m drooling right now just thinking about them. All in all, the dinner rates 5 out of 5 stars. Great food, great view, great service and reasonable prices.
Dinner over we went inside to watch the end of the baseball game. Talked with another of the owners who recommended sticking around for the live entertainment, The Hettel Street Blues band. Now I’ve been known to ride over 4 hours just to hear live blues, so we decided to hunker down and wait for the band. Damn. Fine. Choice. From the first note to the last this band rocked it. Everything from classic blues to jazz to old R&B, you name it, they played the hell out of it. The band is a 6 piece affair with sax, harmonica, guitar, bass and drums. They are fronted by Kathy Hettel who can belt out the blues in the best Etta James tradition. If you live in the Seattle area, I recommend you do what ever it takes to catch a set or twelve, they are just that good. Booking info is at http://www.hettelstreetblues.com .
A perfect end to a perfect day of great food, good wine and killer blues. Oh, did I mention they also have a sushi bar?